With their tasty filling and golden pastry, homemade pork pies are the perfect packed lunch or picnic treat. Learn how to make a pork pie with this easy recipe
For the filling:
500g (1lb) minced pork
2 level tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the pastry:
300g (10oz) plain flour
Pinch of salt
1 medium egg yolk
90g (3oz) white vegetable fat
Beaten egg, to glaze
For the jelly:
4 leaves gelatine
1 pork stock cube
Hot watercrust pastry breaks all the usual rules of pastry-making, as normally all the ingredients have to be kept as cool as possible. The hot method produces a firmer and less crumbly pastry. Make sure there aren't any holes in the pastry or the stock will seep out. Chilling the pies really well helps the gelatine in the stock to set quickly.
Preheat oven to Gas Mark 7 or 200°C.
To make the filling: Mix together the pork, sage and plenty of seasoning.
To make the pastry: Tip the flour into a bowl and add the salt. Drop the egg yolk into the bowl and cover it with a little flour.
Pour 150ml (¼ pint) water into a saucepan and add the white vegetable fat. Place pan over a low heat and stir until fat melts. Increase heat until mixture is boiling, taking care in case any of the fat spits out of the pan. Working quickly, pour the boiling mixture into the flour, and use a wooden spoon to beat the mixture until it's smooth.
Knead the pastry very lightly until it forms a ball. Cut off about a third of the pastry and wrap it in a freezer bag. Reserve for making the lids.
Divide remaining pastry into 6 pieces, flatten each piece out and use them to line the holes in the muffin tins, stretching pastry to just above the top of the tins.
Divide the filling into 6 and place a portion into each muffin hole. Divide the reserved pastry into 6 and flatten each out into a circle just larger than the top of the pies, to make lids. Brush a little egg around the top edge of the pastry in the tins, then place the lids on top. Press the edges together well, and flute them. Make a large hole in the centre of each pie, then brush egg glaze over the top.
Bake the pies in the centre of the oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to Gas Mark 4 or 180°C and cook for a further 20 minutes. Remove the pies carefully from the muffin tin and place them on a baking tray. Brush the top and sides with egg glaze, then return them to the oven for a further 10-15 minutes or until the pastry is golden. Remove from the oven and transfer the pies to a wire rack to cool. Chill the pies well, preferably overnight.
To make the jelly: Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water until they are soft (the amount of water for this isn't important). Pour 450ml (¾ pint) boiling water over the stock cube, and stir until the cube has dissolved. Lift out the sponged gelatine and squeeze out any excess water, then add to the stock, and stir it until it dissolves. Leave the stock to cool but not set, and pour it into the pies. Return the pies to the fridge and leave for the gelatine to set.
Nutritional information per portion
This nutritional information is only a guide and is based on 2,000 calories per day. For more information on eating a healthy diet, please visit the Food Standards Agency website.
Guideline Daily Amount for 2,000 calories per day are: 70g fat, 20g saturated fat, 90g sugar, 6g salt.